Valparaiso University Law School to Host the United States Army Court of Criminal Appeals Oral Arguments

The United States Army Court of Criminal Appeals will hear oral arguments at Valparaiso University Law School on Tuesday, April 10 at 3:00 p.m. The argument is open to the public; members of the reserve component are especially welcome at attend. Rules of Court prohibit recording, photographing, broadcasting, or televising any session of the Court or other activity relating thereto unless specifically authorized by the Court.

The United States Army Court will hear arguments in the case of United States v. Coleman.  On May 13 and 14, 2010, Specialist Walter S. Coleman (appellant) was tried at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri by a panel of officer and enlisted Soldiers sitting as a general court-martial.  Contrary to his pleas, appellant was convicted of rape and adultery in violation of Articles 120 and 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).  Appellant avers that the military judge erred by denying a defense motion for mistrial based on the Government’s failure to disclose that appellant’s co-accused testified against him in exchange for a recommendation that the co-accused’s  sentence be reduced by 12 months.

Established in 1775, the Army Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps is the oldest law firm in the nation. The Judge Advocate General’s Corps comprises lawyers, legal administrators, paralegals, and court reporters. In 1994, the U.S. Army Court of Military Review was renamed the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals.

Currently, the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals is composed of three judicial panels, each with three appellate judges (one of whom is the senior judge) and a commissioner (staff attorney).  It is supplemented by military judges from the U.S. Army Reserve. Karen Borgerding ‘95, a Valparaiso University Law School Alumnus, is a Reserve Judge with the United States Army Court of Criminal Appeals.

The argument will last approximately 60 minutes, with each side having about 30 minutes to argue. The Court will take the matter under advisement and hand down a decision after considering the case. There is no timeline for the decision. The Military Veterans Law Association is proud to be sponsoring the JAG Corps appearance at the Law School.